Common Conditions

TMJ Pain

The TMJ is a short name for temporomandibular joint. Yes thank goodness they shortened it.

The TMJ in lay terms is the “jaw joint” which is felt under our cheekbones and close to our ears. It is a joint which is used every day when we eat, speak and obviously when we yawn. One thing to clear up first is that the TMJ is not a condition, but simply the jaw joint. TMD on the other hand (temporomandibular joint disorder) is used to describe dysfunction of the joint compex there which can lead to clicking, pain, crunchy feelings, headaches and more.

TMD can be caused by various triggers and in today’s hussle and bussle, we see some of the major causes to be stress, upper neck muscular and joint tightness, biting into something hard, sleeping with direct pressure onto the jaw and more.

A 2014 systematic review was conducted and concluded that musculoskeletal manual approaches are effective for treating TMD. Dr Raffi uses mobilisation techniques and releases of specific muscles in the mouth to alleviate pressure in the TMJ and help restore proper movement into these joints. Addressing causes is also imperial to a properly functioning and pain free TMJ. Improving posture, movement to the upper neck and being able to handle stress better are all ways that will supplement treatment to the TMJ.

So why dont you give it a go and see how your TMJ works. Stand in front of a mirror and open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you see deviation of your jaw, hear any clicks or feel any discomfort in the jaw joints? If you answered yes to any of these, It may be time for a check up.

Martins WR1, Blasczyk JC2, Efficacy of musculoskeletal manual approach in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Man Ther. 2016 Feb;21:10-7. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2015.06.009. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

Van der Meer HA1, Speksnijder CM, Engelbert RHH, Lobbezoo F, Nijhuis-van der Sanden MWG, Visscher CM.The Association Between Headaches and Temporomandibular Disorders is Confounded by Bruxism and Somatic Symptoms. Clin J Pain. 2017 Sep;33(9):835-843.